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Eight-man Magpies victors in feisty derby

Kenneth Sprowson had two strong games on defence for Douglas Villa. PHOTOS/FILE

FOOTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
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CHATHAM CUP

Greytown 0
Douglas Villa Magpies 1

Douglas Villa Magpies were down to eight men but still hung on to beat Fresh Choice Greytown 1-0 in an emotionally charged first-round Chatham Cup fixture at Greytown.

A first-half penalty was the only goal in the feisty, often ill-tempered clash watched by a good crowd on the public holiday Monday.

Josh McMenamin had a mixed weekend, scoring three goals and shown a red card.

Magpies, who play in Capital Division Three, a level higher than their opponents, were warmly favoured to win the local derby, and that was justified when Josh McMenamin opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

However, the complexion of the game changed after 34 minutes when McMenamin was shown a red card for allegedly reacting to some niggle by lifting his elbow on a player.

Magpies’ woes continued in the second half with Conor Hovard shown two yellow cards in quick succession for dissent after 77 minutes.

He was joined three minutes later by former Vanuatu international Seule Soromon, who was shown a second yellow card, leaving Magpies three players down for the final 10 minutes.

Magpies coach Malcolm Cox said he was bemused over some of the cards but was satisfied with the heart shown by his team.

“I said to the players that I’ve actually doubted sometimes if we’ve got a backbone, but on Monday, they put those thoughts to rest, It was second-to-none the effort they put out there.

“It’s always going to be a hot arena to be in because it’s public and there were a lot of people, and there were a lot of feelings and emotions.

“Greytown played some decent football, and we were playing some decent football, and it was a good clash, and I think if it was 11 on 11, we would have carried on and rolled over them.”

Centre back Kenneth Sprowson was Cox’s player of the match, and goalkeeper Jared Watt pulled off a crucial save from a long-range effort by Bill Reynolds to maintain
their advantage.

Seule Soromon … one of three Douglas Villa players shown the red card in the Chatham Cup first round match against Greytown on Monday.

The home side were fortunate to keep 11 men on the park themselves with injuries to defender Sam Locke, midfielder-defender Reynolds, and Cuong Trong, forcing player-coach Nikali Finlay and goalkeeper Gary Hewson to play out the 90 minutes carrying knocks, especially Hewson who strained his elbow late on.

CAPITAL DIV 3

Island Bay Kinas 3
Douglas Villa Magpies 3

Douglas Villa Magpies dropped their first points in Capital Division Three, conceding two second-half goals to draw 3-3 with Island Bay Kinas at Wellington’s Wakefield Park.

McMenamin, with two goals, and Willy Syben were on target to give Magpies a 3-1 lead at the break.

The home side fought back with two goals, including a contentious equaliser, which appeared to be scored by a player in an offside position.

Magpies had their opportunities to take all three points in the dying minutes, only for players to take wrong options.

Cox was happy with the outcome of the difficult encounter.

“There were some tired legs with the fact it was our first game on turf, and the turf at Wakefield Park is terrible,” he said.

“Our defence was playing really well, and our midfield was trying hard, but Island Bay are a half-decent side, so we have to be happy with a point on the road,”

Magpies are one of three teams sharing second in the league. They will play one of those teams – Victoria University Accies – at Park Sports Ground at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Cox will likely have to do some juggling, with Soromon, McMenamin, and Conor Hovard facing suspension after their red cards in the Chatham Cup clash with Greytown.

CAPITAL DIV 4

Greytown 2
Stop Out Steamers 2

Wastefulness in front of goal has seen Fresh Choice Greytown held to a second draw in three games on Saturday.

Greytown went behind twice at Greytown’s Memorial Park before holding on to pocket their second point of the season.

A freakish overhead goal to player-coach Nikali Finlay and a great finish from Daniel Frischknecht had the hosts escape from the game, which threatened to run away from them.

Stop Out were awarded a penalty midway through the second half but wasted the chance by blasting the ball against the crossbar, and within minutes Greytown were level through Frischknecht’s goal.

Several crucial saves by veteran goalkeeper Gary Hewson kept the home side level. With regular right back Tim Stevenson away, Bill Reynolds stepped up from the reserves and along with Hewson jointly claimed man of the match honours.

Greytown are ninth in the 10-team league after three rounds. They play Petone Stonecutters away in their fixture on Saturday.

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